Manchester United succumbed to an embarrassing loss to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League, which was the Turkish club’s very first win in the competition. United have now lost back-to-back games, as have their opponents for the weekend, Everton. The Toffees made a bright start to the season, but any hopes of a run for the title were squashed when they lost to Southampton and Newcastle United in their last two Premier League games.
Despite that, the pressure will firmly be on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side who desperately need a win going into the international break.
Let’s take a look at the 3 key battles which could have an impact on the outcome of the game.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin vs Victor Lindelof
United’s defence was exposed yet again in the Champions League as Harry Maguire and co. were caught out by the Turkish side on multiple occasions. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may bring back Victor Lindelof to the starting XI for the game against Everton and manager Carlo Ancelotti could set his team up to target the Swedish defender. Lindelof is not good in the air, while Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is perhaps the best header of the ball in the Premier League.
Everton could play in early balls to Calvert-Lewin and try to catch Manchester United off guard, which is a tactic that the Toffees have used to good effect this season.
Marcus Rashford vs Yerry Mina
Manchester United’s attack has looked toothless in the last two games which is a surprise considering how lethal they were against RB Leipzig. The Red Devils’ chief playmaker Bruno Fernandes has struggled to get going in recent matches, while Solskjaer has used defensive central midfielders who haven’t contributed much in the offensive areas.
Marcus Rashford could be United’s best bet against Everton, be it from the wide areas or as a central striker. His pace and direct running could cause some trouble to Mina at the heart of Everton’s defence.
Lucas Digne vs Mason Greenwood
Lucas Digne will return to the Everton lineup for this weekend’s game after his three-match ban was overturned. This will be a huge boost for Ancelotti as the Frenchman is exceptional going forward as well as in defence. Digne could be a threat with his speed, dribbling and his superb crossing, which could come in handy against an under-confident Red Devils’ backline.
If Solskjaer reverts to a three-man midfield, Mason Greenwood could play on the right side. The teenager’s dribbling ability and pace, as well as impeccable finishing, could be a threat to Everton’s backline. This could be a good battle between Digne and Greenwood on the wing.